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Undergraduate Research/Politics Weekend

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Undergraduate Research/Politics Weekend Sponsored by UH Department of Political Science, and the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research

November 10-11, 2017

Application Deadline: October 6th, 2017

Click here for the application link

Political science majors who want to sharpen their research skills are invited to apply for the UH/ICPSR Research/Politics Weekend.  This 2-day workshop is designed for advanced undergraduates who enjoy political science research, and who want to learn more about opportunities for graduate studies in political science, public policy and related fields (M.A., MPP, MPA, PhD). 

The theme of this year’s research weekend is the 2016 U.S. presidential election.  Participants will learn new research skills while investigating some of the unexpected results of the 2016 election.  Working in small groups under faculty guidance, students will frame specific research questions and then explore approaches to answering them using recently-released survey data from the 2016 election.  Possible topics include the impact of differential turnout across population segments, the size of the gender gap in vote choice, and the extent to which immigration debates affected voters’ choices.  Participants will also gain first-hand experience with writing survey questions.

In addition to developing research skills, the weekend will include sessions about how to select graduate schools and summer research programs that are a good fit for students’ interests, and how to write competitive applications. There will also be opportunities for students to meet in small group settings with faculty members and current graduate students.

Cost:  This program is free to students who are admitted to the program.  Students will be provided with meals (2 lunches, dinner on Friday and breakfast on Saturday).  Those who live more than 60 miles from the UH main campus are eligible for free overnight accommodation in a hotel on the University of Houston campus.   Most participants will be responsible for their own transportation costs, but some transportation scholarships are available for those travelling the greatest distances.

Application Materials: Students should prepare a statement of purpose for attending the conference, and acquire one letter of recommendation from a professor on their behalf (the application will ask you to upload these materials). The statement of purpose should express your research interests, your ambitions for graduate school, and how the workshop will help achieve those ambitions. Your professors letters should generally speak to your potential as a graduate school students and how you stand to benefit from attending a workshop focused on research and graduate school preparation.

Schedule Highlights Include Sessions on:

Friday Nov. 10th

  • “What we Don’t Know about the 2016 Presidential Election” (10:45am-12pm)
  • “Career Opportunities for Political Researchers” (12pm-1pm) 
  • “Keys to Applying to Graduate School and Summer Research Programs” (1-2pm)
  • “Survey Data and the 2016 Election” (2-3:30pm)
  • “UH Graduate Student Poster Session” (5pm)

 Saturday, Nov. 11th

  • “Preliminary Survey Analysis” (9:45-11:30am)
  •  “Succeeding in Graduate School” (12:30-1:30pm)
  •  “Hands on! Designing Your Own Surveys” (1:30-3:30pm)

 As well as several small group mentoring sessions

Potential Topics:

  • Race and Participation in the 2016 Election
  • Gender and Presidential Vote Choice in 2016
  • Social Media Use and Policy Extremism in 2016


Participating Faculty:

  • Bill Jacoby (Editor of the AJPS and Professor, Michigan State University)
  • Sandy Schneider (Director of The ICPSR Summer Program and Professor, Michigan State University)
  • Susan Scarrow (Professor and Chair of Political Science, University of Houston)
  • Brandon Rottinghaus (Professor, University of Houston)
  • Justin Kirkland (Associate Professor, University of Houston)
  • Jennifer Clark (Associate Professor, University of Houston)
  • Jay Aiyer (Assistant Professor, Texas Southern University)

And many others…

Questions? Email us at